Definition: Mayor

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Circa 1300; from Middle English maire, from Old French maire (“head of a city or town government”) (thirteenth century), from Latin maior (“bigger, greater, superior”), comparative of magnus (“big, great”). Doublet of major.


mayor (plural mayors)

  1. The chief executive of the municipal government of a city, borough, etc., formerly usually appointed as a caretaker by European royal courts but now usually appointed or elected locally.
  2. (chiefly US) A largely ceremonial position in some municipal governments that presides over the city council while a contracted city manager holds actual executive power.

Derived terms

  • mayoral, mayorial
  • mayoress
  • mayorship


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